It was a thundery Thursday afternoon at Prentup Field when the University of Colorado soccer team opened its season against an in-state rival, the Colorado State Rams. The Buffs dominated the match from start to what was supposed to be a finish before a pair of lightning delays struck chaos.
As Colorado was enjoying a 3-0 lead, lightning struck twice near Prentup Field and caused multiple delays. In short, NCAA rules determined that the game would be considered a no contest due to the failure of resuming the game within the same day. The Buffs record remains at 0-0-0 and all statistics were voided.
Colorado got off to a blazing fast start against CSU as sophomore forward Shyra James launched a shot over the head of the Rams junior goalkeeper Amanda Green in the third minute of play.
In the 16th minute, junior Jade Babcock-Chi fired a long shot that floated past Green and into the net to make the game 2-0. Just over 10 minutes later, a corner kick from sophomore midfielder Rachel Rosen found senior midfielder Shanade Hopcroft on the backside of the net to expand the lead to three.
At this point in the game, it appeared that Colorado State and its first year head coach Keeley Hagen would need nothing short of a miracle to even salvage a draw. Luckily for Hagen and the Rams, a miracle is exactly what they would get.
It all started in the 51st minute of action when lightning struck the ground within ten miles of Prentup Field. Play was quickly halted and both teams left the field as the game entered into a lightning delay.
The players would eventually return to the field nearly an hour later and after a ten-minute warmup, it appeared that the game was back on.
However, the greater forces of nature had something else to say about that. Just as both teams resumed their positions on the field and the referees prepared to blow their whistles, yet another lightning bolt was detected in the area.
As the weather started to clear up, the CU players made their way back to the field to warm up in the hope of finishing the game with the limited daylight remaining.
The CSU players, on the other hand, remained notably absent from the field in hopes of taking advantage of NCAA women’s soccer Rule 7.6.3.
Rule 7.6.3 states, “Once a game has been started and suspended, it must be restarted not later than three hours after the original start time unless mutually agreed upon before the start of the game by the teams or determined by the governing sports authority.”
Because of this rule, if Hagen and CU head coach Danny Sanchez did not agree to a new start time or date within three hours after the game’s 4 p.m. MST start time, the match would not be allowed to restart.
The two coaches were unable to mutually agree to a new start time. With the match now unable to be restarted that triggered another NCAA rule to go into effect: Rule 7.5.2.
Rule 7.5.2 reads, “If the conditions leading to a suspended game persist and the game is not resumed the same day, the game shall be considered ‘no contest’ if it has not progressed to 70 minutes.”
Since the game had only reached the 51st minute mark, the match was officially ruled a no contest. A no contest essentially means that all statistics and scores are nullified and do not count towards either team.
For the Buffs, while the results and statistics might not technically exist on paper, the performances were very real, and nothing can ever truly erase that.
As of Saturday, CU has not rescheduled the game with CSU. The Buffs now turn their sights towards Colorado College to play the Tigers at the University of Denver Sunday at noon.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Matthew Lenneman at email@example.com.